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Home Rulings NESPRESSO / COFFEE VOUCHER/ V RAMKLOWN / 2017 – 7112F

NESPRESSO / COFFEE VOUCHER/ V RAMKLOWN / 2017 – 7112F

Mr Ramklown lodged a consumer complaint against the Respondent’s in-store and on-pack promotions for a Nespresso machine. 

The advertisement reads, inter alia, 

"Receive maximum R600 CASH BACK ON PURCHASE OF SELECTED NESPRESSO MACHINES

And receive maximum R600 COFFEE VOUCHER ON YOUR FIRST NESPRESSO COFFEE ORDER*”.

COMPLAINT

In essence, the Complainant submitted that the advertisement states, inter alia, "Get up to R600 worth of coffee vouchers with a purchase of a Nespresso machine” and that he bought a Nespresso machine for R1250 and was told that he cannot use the R600 voucher unless he bought a further R600 worth of coffee pods. He alleged that this was not made clear when he initially bought the machine.

RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE

In light of the complaint Clause 4.2.1 of Section II (Misleading claims) was taken into consideration.

RESPONSE

Attorneys Kevin Mulligan, acting on behalf of the Respondent, submitted that the wording of the advertisement makes it clear that the purchaser of a Nespresso coffee machine will, first of all, receive a discount on the purchase of that machine up to a maximum of R600, obviously depending on the machine type purchased. In addition, the wording clearly promises that the purchaser will also receive a coffee voucher on  his or her first purchase of Nespresso coffee, up to a maximum of R600. The necessary implication of the word "maximum”, meaning "up to” is that the amount of the discount depends on the amount of coffee purchased.

It argued that there is an asterisk at the end of this wording that refers the reader to a note further down on the promotional material which states "Terms & Conditions Apply”. These terms and conditions are spelled out in the actual coffee voucher supplied to the purchaser. A copy of the coffee vouchers and terms and conditions were attached to the response.

It submitted that "Step 2: Purchase coffee”, of the coffee voucher clearly states the following:
  • "Purchase R600 of Nespresso® coffee and receive a R300 voucher OFF your purchase.
  •  Purchase R1200 of Nespresso® coffee and receive a R600 voucher OFF your purchase.”
The Respondent further pointed out that the Complainant states that he purchased a Nespresso coffee machine for R1 250 and from this it is evident that he bought a machine that retails at R1 450, on which he was given a discount of R200, the specified amount of discount for that particular machine. It is significant that the Complainant is not contending that, in terms of the promotional material that he has photographed, he ought to have received a R600 discount on the machine also. The coffee had to be purchased and the amount of the discount would depend on the amount of coffee purchased.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

The Directorate is tasked with determining whether the advertising creates a misleading expectation as alleged by the Complainant.

Clause 4.2.1 of Section II states that advertising should not contain any statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer.

The Complainant submitted that he bought a Nespresso machine for R1250 and was told that he cannot use the R600 voucher unless he bought a further R600 worth of coffee pods.

The Respondent submitted that the wording of the advertisement makes it perfectly clear that the purchaser of a Nespresso coffee machine will, first of all, receive a discount on the purchase of that machine up to a maximum of R600 and, in addition, the purchaser will also receive a coffee voucher for a discount on his or her first purchase of Nespresso coffee, up to a maximum of R600.

When considering the advertisement as a whole, the first part states that a purchaser of the selected Nespresso machine will receive a maximum of R600 cash back and the second part of the advertisement states that a purchaser will receive a maximum of R600 coffee voucher ‘ON YOUR FIRST NESPRESSO COFFEE ORDER”. There is an asterisk at the end of the word "ORDER” directing the consumer to applicable terms and conditions.

The advertisement is very clear that a purchaser will "receive maximum R600 Coffee Voucher on your first Nespresso coffee order* (our emphasis). It is clear that one has to first purchase Nespresso coffee in order to redeem the Coffee voucher mentioned in the advertisement. The Complainant assertion that the advertised promise is that you "Get up to R600 worth of coffee vouchers with a purchase of a Nespresso machine” is incorrect.

In light of the above, the advertising cannot be said to be misleading for the reasons advanced in the complaint. The advertisement is therefore not found to have contravened Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code.

The complaint is dismissed.


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